Old Bits and Thoughts (A poem of remembering)

29 Apr

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I remember Billy Searles jumping up to kiss me on the cheek

Because I was so much taller than he was.

It was out on the playground.

It was my first kiss; full of embarrassed pleasure.

 

I remember hating family drives every Sunday in Connecticut.

 

I remember visiting Disneyland right after it opened;

It was Christmas. There was a magical swan carriage

Full of Dickensian-dressed carolers.

 

I remember swimming in Waikiki with a smashed finger

That I had to hold

Up over my head

Out of the turquoise water.

 

I remember Harriet Hohmeyer and I

In the woods between our houses

Taking turns jumping off the weathered teeter-totter to

Send the other one crashing down.

 

I remember that my sister bit her nails down to the quick;

Everyone said she was nervous.

 

I remember dragging unbelievably prehistoric-looking horseshoe crabs

Out of the water on Jones Beach, then letting them go back.

I remember Pooty hiding under my parent’s bed and

My dad using the curved handle of his umbrella to

Drag him out by his collar.

I remember wishing that Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were my parents.

 

I remember pedal-pushers and poodle skirts and white bucks

And pin curls and saddle shoes and black flats.

I remember holding hands with Steve “Lyle-style”.

I remember happy, prickly butterflies inside me.

I remember the smell of Steve’s white shirt when we

Slow-danced to Johnny Mathis downstairs in the rec room after

Everyone else was asleep.

 

I remember my mother yelling at Jean when

She scorched her expensive green and white wool

Miramonte High School pep skirt,

And I remember that, even though I was the young one

Who was in trouble way more often, I said,

“Mommy, she didn’t mean to do it.”

 

I remember licking red candied apples till the crust was

Thin enough that I could crunch through it

For a cinnamon-sweet bite of apple.

My sister ate cotton candy, which I thought

Was yucky.

 

I remember watching my sister disappear into the fog, walking

Down Tacoma Avenue on her way to

Thousand Oaks Elementary School.

I remember asking my mother how soon I could go to school.

“When you are five.”

I remember thinking I was three and so

It would be infinity

Before I got to go with her.

April 29, 2016

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